GoPro Hero 8 Black – Impressions and Sample Footage

So like I mentioned before, I bought the Hero 8 Black via GoPro’s trade in program. It showed up on a Monday, which happens to be my day off, so I decided to take a bunch of sample video with it. Before we get to that, let’s look at the new Hero 8 as a physical object. 

The main difference in the 8 vs the few previous GoPros is the mounting tabs being moved to the camera itself from the “cage”. This sounds like a small difference, but actually makes quite a difference in how small it feels and how easily it travels. It’s one less thing in your bag and it gives the camera a smaller footprint in a way that seems to defy the story the physical dimensions tell.


The other new change is not as nice, the battery door is now on the side. This is cool in some ways, as you no longer have to remove the camera from a mount to swap the battery, but on the downside, there’s now very little holding the battery in with the door open or removed, and you have to remove it or open it to use the camera while connected to power, for say, a long time warp video of a road trip. I’m hoping GoPro’s mods, specifically the Media Mod, will basically solve this problem. It will replace the battery door and includes a power connector as well as cold shoes and a shotgun mic. I signed up to get notified when preorders are available, so I’ll follow up once I have on in my hands. 
Speaking of Microphones, the Hero 8 now has a front facing mic which sounds really damn good for a built in mic. I’m very pleased with it. I will still totally buy the mod with the shotgun mic, but I don’t even think a lot of people will really need it, and that shotgun mic is gonna have to be REALLY good to make it worth it over the already very good built in mic. 

The new GoPro includes new views like linear mode when shooting in 4k. I like that a lot. I feel like the linear mode is best for most non-sports stuff because it greatly reduces lens distortion. The Hero 8 Black is fast and the video quality is pretty good. I still wish they would bump up the sensor size for better low light performance, but it is first and foremost an action camera, despite their recent pivot to appeal to the vlogging world. 

GoPro’s ecosystem does work pretty damn well for vlogging (have I mentioned I hate that word? I really do.), especially with GoPro Plus. GoPro plus enables auto uploads to their cloud service when you plug it in and you’re near wifi. They are stored in full res and you can pull them down to edit or share, then delete them from local storage and just leave them there. It does a lot to solve my storage anxiety, and it works really well with an iPad Pro. 

I’ll stop rambling now and let you just look at the footage, watch it on youtube and turn the quality up as high as it will go.